Category Archives: John Leon Turner

John Leon Turner with the Partisans

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This is a third article covering one of John Leon Turner’s service club visits—part of a national effort to promote sale of Canadian war bonds.

Read the first two news articles at “John Leon Turner, Royal Canadian Air Force.”

It would seem by references within this article that Leon’s presentation to the Waterloo (Southern Ontario) Kiwanis Club was in spring 1945.

Although the article reports Leon’s escape was from a German prison camp, he was in fact an escapee from Italian Camp 59.

Here is text of the article:

Prisoner of War Tells Club of His Life With Partisans

The Waterloo Kiwanis Club met on Tuesday evening with twenty-nine members on hand to listen to an address delivered by a repatriated Prisoner of War. As guests for the evening, Major Eric Thomas, having served overseas for four years with the Forestry Corps, attended the meeting with Rev. Sidney Wood, Flt. Lt. James Davidson, prisoner of war for eleven months was the guest of Henry Smith and Flt. Lieut. Sidney Mitchell came with his father. Rev. E. D. Mitchell. Flt. Lieut. Mitchell was a prisoner of war in Germany since last November, and has just returned home, as has Flt. Lieut. Davidson.

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John Leon Turner, Royal Canadian Air Force

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John Leon Turner in uniform speaking during one of his many stops on the War Bond circuit through Ontario and Quebec, Canada

I received an e-mail last month from Terry Marshall of London, Ontario (Canada). He wrote, “I would like to add one more name to the prisoner list which currently appears on your excellent site. The name to be added is that of my late father-in-law, John Leon (Lucky) Turner RCAF (Air Gunner) attached to RAF 99 squadron.”

There are several references to Canadian servicemen on the Camp 59 Survivors site, but I have detailed information on only one other Canadian at this time, Laurence Barker (see “Laurence Barker—Died for His Country“). Laurence, like John Turner, was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

In his notes to me, Terry referred to his father-in-law as Leon. I asked him about this and he replied, “As far as I know, he always referred to himself as Leon, although to those who knew him well, he was Lucky (a reference to his skill and success at cards I believe).”

Therefore, I will refer to John on this site as Leon.

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